Saturday, January 3, 2009

Air fares could go down this week, but what about ISP charges?

Both Domestic and International airfares could go down this week which is great news for the traveling public in Papua New Guinea. According to the NBC "Air Niugini, expects to reduce its international and domestic sector fuel surcharges" between the 5th and 10th of January 2009 but is currently awaiting International Parity Pricing. This is great news for all Wantoks out there that are planning to do some air travel in 2009, and with the current competition that Air Niugini is facing from Airlines PNG and Virgin Pacific Blue we could see a decent drop in air fares in 2009. This is also in line with the current global oil prices that may help make air travel affordable in 2009.

I for one am a great supporter of competition and as a consumer 2008 was good year for competition both in the airline industry (Air Niugini/Qantas Vs Airlines PNG/Virgin Pacific Blue) and telecommunications industry (Digicel Vs B Mobile). But what I am hoping for in 2009 is for ICCC to give the go a head for Telikom or one of its subsidiaries to become a Internet Service Provider(ISP). Then hopefully we will see some real progress in the reduction of the astronomical prices that Papua New Guineans are charged by local ISP's.

If you compare what people in Papua New Guinea are charge by ISPs to other countries in the region you feel totally ripped off. For example iPrimus Speedster 6GB plan (broadband wireless) for 6 Gigabytes of downloads per month was advertised in the December 2008 NetGuide issue for $39.95 per month. So for arguments sake lets say that the current PNG Kina to Aus Dollar is 0.5. That would mean that this plan would be K79.90 per month, with speed reduction after you go over your limit so there would be no extra charges. Now if you were to look at Daltron's entry level standard wireless plan 64k - 100. Meaning that you get a 64kb link and you are allowed to use 100 Megabytes before you are charged K0.50 for every excess Megabyte. For a monthly fee of K225, you don't have to be a maths professor to feel that you are being ripped off in a big way. To Daltron's defence I must admit that here in Papua New Guinea, currently we do not have a half decent communications infrastructure and Daltron buys their data wholesale from Telikom so they can not go any lower then what Telikom charge them.

With these arguments in mind I am thinking that it is time for competition to enter the ISP market place in PNG. To give all the grassroot Wantoks out there a fighting chance to be able to get affordable internet access. The PNG government should treat internet access as commoditiy that all Papua New Guinean's should have and not something for the privilege Wantoks out there. More funding is need to help reduce the cost of Internet access to help make it more accessible to the general public in Papua New Guinea.


  1. Hope the internal fares drop. A recent trip saw the Melb to Brisb fares to be almost equal to the Brisb to Port Moresby fares but the Port Moresby to a relativley close PNG destination (1 hour flight) was almost double the other fares.

  2. Fuel price fluctuation will have direct bearing on air fares; whereas this logic is blurry in the ISP charges. In ISP charges, it largely depends on the price of the wholesale bandwidth chunks that the ISPs buy from Telikom, which is the government. So the government is the culprit here, with its bullying policies;

    hey, love blog. will add it in my list.